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10 Aug 2009

Black Radio’s Arrogance on HR 848

Listed under: Blog

After witnessing Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing first hand, black radio has a much larger problem then diminishing revenues. While John Conyers, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Hank Johnson and the Committee’s initial concerns were simply to grant performers royalties for radio airplay, the response of broadcasters has opened the door to an array of larger problems.

Radio One’s Founder, Cathy Hughes initial re-action to HR 848 was understandable, paying a performance fee in these difficult economic times is not the addition any corporate power or individual needs right now. But the larger problem with Hughes and the broadcast community one sided response is the much larger response.

During the hearing it was quite obvious that all of the participants wants minority radio to prosper. Although members of the broadcast community did not participate, the committee open the discussion to include needed financing, updates in Arbitron’s rating system and adjustments to HR 848, that would be beneficial for black radio and the larger broadcast community.

Radio One, continues to air a series of three minute announcements asking their audience to call Congress, they failed to show. The spots continue to run with a dollar value that would reach close to a million dollars. Black radio has reached a new low, by misleading listeners and denying it’s self a voice at the table that wants to help them.

There is no excuse for being stubborn. There is no excuse for misleading the public. And there is no excuse for talking to people that want to help. When the broadcasters stop acting like communist dictators and listening, maybe Congress can give them the help they desperately need.

Paul Porter

Industry Ears